After a countdown timer for Nokia's MeeGo-powered N9 appeared on its Swedish site last week, the company had to come out and explain that it wasn't indicative of global launch timing -- turns out the retail strategy (and launch date) is going to vary from market to market. And really, that's not any different from any other product intro; very rarely does it end up working out so that everyone gets it on the same day... or the same month, for that matter.
More interesting, though, is the fact that the launch countdown doesn't apply to the US at all. Nokia tells us that "there are no plans to offer the Nokia N9 in the US, locked or unlocked," which means Americans interested in the MeeGo handset will be left scrambling to find these on the import market unless the company has a change of heart. It all ties in with a conversation today between AllThingsD and Nokia's US boss Chris Weber where he says that they'll focus solely on carrier-subsidized products -- a big shift for a company that's historically been one of the wireless industry's only major supporters of unlocked, unbranded, unsubsidized devices in the US market. Arguably, it's an implicit confirmation that there aren't any American carriers keen on launching a smartphone running a dead-end platform.
Weber goes on to say that when Nokia US launches Windows Phones later this year, it'll "essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc." -- in other words, there aren't any more Nokias in the pipeline for the US market that aren't Microsoft-powered. That certainly isn't a dramatic shift in strategy considering how little traction Symbian has among American carriers; AT&T and T-Mobile have launched the occasional unit over the years, but they haven't been core to either company's product portfolios. Of course, Symbian and Series 40 both enjoy broad, deep user bases globally, and I'm sure both platforms' presence in Europe, Asia, and Africa are totally unaffected by Weber's strategy -- right up until Symbian's expected sunset in 2016, that is.